Australians were among the first Western tourists to embrace the opportunities for travel in Thailand. Today, the Land of Smiles is still a premier destination for Australians. In fact, the flight path to Thailand is Australia’s sixth-busiest outgoing route.
The dynamic relationship between Thailand and Australia has been ongoing for decades. Out of all the East-West relationships at work in Thailand, Australia’s is probably the most significant. Just consider the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), or the fact that that there are 18 prominent Thai temples on the Australian continent. Every year, roughly 400,000 Australian tourists come to Thailand. Most come strictly for the leisure and adventure opportunities, but a few have loftier motives.
For Australians, traveling and volunteering in Thailand is a meaningful way to give back to your corner of the global community. By working to improve the lives of people who live in this region, you’ll be contributing to the future of the entire Asia Pacific region. All of the hard work you invest in Thailand returns to Australian shores in bolstered diplomatic relations, stronger cross-cultural ties and better prospects for the region’s future.
Volunteer Opportunities for Australian Volunteers
We’ve been lucky to work with so many Australians at Friends for Asia. The volunteers that we host are involved in some of the most important humanitarian and conservation projects in Northern Thailand. Around 15% of our volunteer base is Australian. Projects they work on range from teaching English to novice monks to caring for orphans of HIV. Some are involved in building and care giving with single mothers, while others coordinate with conservation projects that sustain the Asian elephant population while creating jobs for hill tribe ethnic minorities.
A Rewarding Mix of International Volunteers
It’s easy to see why Australians are drawn to Friends for Asia’s volunteer programs. There are literally people from all over the world working on these projects and staying in FFA accommodation. You’ll be networked into highly effective projects that are changing lives in Northern Thailand. At the same time, you’ll also be spending your evenings and weekends with a dynamic mix of volunteers from all over the world.
All the while, you’ll be assisted by our team of expert Thai coordinators, many of whom have strong overseas connections. Some have lived and studied abroad. Others grew up in bilingual households. For this reason, our volunteer coordinators are uniquely qualified to help our Australian volunteers interface with the unique mix of cultures at work in Northern Thailand.
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Volunteer StoriesHelen Lam - HongKong - Teaching Monks, July, 2010
"Friends For Asia has definitely made my trip marvelous and unforgettable. Living in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks as a volunteer, I had the precious opportunity to experience Thai life almost as a local. People here always wear a big warm smile, and the city would just melt everyone’s heart. I would highly recommend volunteers to come teaching English to Monks. The satisfactory feeling that comes afterwards is truly rewarding!"
Sinead O’Leary, Cork, Ireland – Elephant Camp February, 2010
“My last two days were unforgettable, my mahout brought me through the jungle, which I strongly recommend and also to a deep river and got to act like a cowboy and try and balance on my elephant while he ordered her to throw me off. An amazing experience. Don’t be afraid to get wet, have fun, start water fights, and roll around on your elephant in the water, it’s a once in a life time experience…”
Alana Borsa, Ontario, Canada - HIV Orphanage Project April, 2009
“Working at the HIV Orphanage is a wonderful and inspiring experience. The enthusiasm of the staff and the energy of the children are completely infectious. They will touch your heart each and every day. Coming to spend time at the orphanage has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The orphanage family has certainly become, and will now be forever a part of my life.”
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